BRADFORD – An anonymous donor has set up a new criminal justice scholarship in memory of George Barron, the first director of campus police and security at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, who passed away in December.
Barron came to Pitt-Bradford in 1979 to oversee Pinkerton campus security and set up the police department. From 1980 to 1996 he was the first police chief and director of public security.
His time at Pitt-Bradford crowned a career as a law enforcement officer that began after serving three years in the US Coast Guard. He graduated from the Pennsylvania State Police Academy in 1952 and served in the State Police until 1978 when he retired as Commander of Kane Station.
While in the State Police, he graduated from the National Academy of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Quantico, Va.
After retiring from the State Police, he continued to live in Kane and served in the Kane Volunteer Fire Department before moving to Pitt-Bradford.
After his resignation from Pitt-Bradford, the Bradford Exchange Club voted Barron Police Officer of the Year. Dr. K. James Evans, vice president and dean of student affairs, who hired Barron in 1979, spoke in Barron’s honor at dinner.
“He’s a teacher at heart,” said Evans of Barron, noting how he taught resident consultants on fire safety, created fire alarm tests and security evacuation plans, instituted crime prevention and rape crisis programs, and even stepped into the classroom as a lecturer in sociology Disruptions.
Dan Songer, who would follow Barron’s steps as Pitt-Bradford Police Chief, first met Barron in his role as a coach.
“He was a great instructor,” said Songer. During Singer’s tenure as chief, Barron continued to train the campus police force.
“He taught me a lot about what to do and what not to do as a boss,” said Songer. “He was a mentor. I would call him and ask for advice all the years I was the boss. “
Songer also continued the tradition started by Barron of inviting federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to campus every September for Law Enforcement Awareness Day, better known as LEAF Day.
“We got a lot of students interested in law enforcement through this program,” said Songer.
Evans noted that Barron’s professionalism benefited more than the Bradford campus. Barron produced a comprehensive handbook on campus security, some of which was adopted by dozens of other colleges and universities.
As Police Chief in Pitt-Bradford, he also served on the board and president of the Northeast Colleges and Universities Security Association and was awarded the 1989 Lawrence W. Joy Presidential Award for Excellence.
To make a gift for the George J. Barron Memorial Scholarship or to establish a scholarship in Pitt-Bradford, contact the Office of Philanthropic and Alumni Engagement at 814-362-5091.